CTV ad frauds are on the rise. Advertisers, are you in the know?

Published: May 24, 2023

min read

Due to the convenience and flexibility it provides, CTV has grown significantly in recent years.

Customers are showing a strong preference for streaming. Statistics show that 87% of US TV households have at least one Internet-connected TV device.

As a result, many streaming platforms, like Disney Plus and Netflix, introduced an ad-supported tier and more measurement options for advertisers. Consequently, in all ways, this emerging medium is continuing to boost revenue for advertisers.

Despite increased investment and interest, CTV is still a relatively immature channel with risk factors that may be bothersome to advertisers who are monitoring their budgets meticulously to find ways to reduce unnecessary expenditures.


According to a recent report from measurement and analytics firm DoubleVerify, bot fraud on connected television (CTV) increased 69% year over year in 2022.

Since 2020, the number of CTV plans identified by the company has tripled. This invasion follows an increase in advertiser expenditures on the channel, which has grown in popularity among consumers as a result of the pandemic-driven shift to streaming.

The findings of DoubleVerify come after an upfront season in which brands and media buyers are expected to focus even more on CTV due to new offerings from various streaming platforms.

For the research, the firm compared the results of a "protected" campaign to one without verification and discovered that the unprotected campaign had a roughly 18-fold higher fraud rate.

Needless to mention, DoubleVerify offers verification and brand safety solutions, and the research was used to promote its products.

Though DoubleVerify has an obvious reason for calling out CTV fraud, it is a significant issue that advertisers must pay attention to in order to make their CTV investments meaningful.

How should advertisers handle this?

CTV is not immune to ad fraud, as is well known. However, the DV report emphasises how intensely it has occurred in recent months.

Given the importance of CTV in today's digital arena, the number of ad dollars put into CTV will only increase in the coming days, and advertisers cannot avoid it.

Thus, it is important for brands to take DV’s report as a warning sign and take the necessary steps to avoid wasting ad dollars unnecessarily. Or else it will be more likely to land them in trouble. Be it not being able to deliver intended value, poor campaign performance, or the loss of many valuable opportunities.

And here are a few measures we believe advertisers can take to protect themselves from CTV ad fraud.

  • Advertisers must choose to work with reputable ad networks, publishers, and vendors for their CTV campaigns to ensure they are collaborating with someone who has strong fraud prevention measures in place.
  • They must not overlook using third-party ad verification tools, which will be beneficial to identify invalid traffic, viewability issues, and other fraudulent activities. This way, they can understand if they are reaching target audiences or wasting dollars on fraudulent impressions.
  • Monitoring and analysing campaign performance metrics regularly is crucial. Because it will help them spot the suspicious patterns easily. For instance, if you run CTV campaigns on streaming platforms that run live sports, you will be more likely to see major engagement during match time and not during any other time. But if you find something different here, you will be able to spot that anomaly and troubleshoot it. Through this, you can take timely action to mitigate the impact.
  • Collaborating with people in the industry and taking part in discussions will help advertisers stay educated about the evolving ad fraud tactics so that they can implement appropriate countermeasures to stay protected.
  • Using audience verification solutions is also important to validate the CTV audience's quality. These tools will assist in ensuring that you only spend dollars on reaching your intended target audience and thus reduce the risk of fraudulent activities.

In a nutshell, brands and marketers must pay close attention to DV's report and take immediate action. The good news is that, while CTV ad fraud is on the rise, brands can still find a way to avoid most of the harm and make CTV investments meaningful in order to reap better results.


Bill Walker

Bill is a marketing strategist who believes in the power of storytelling. He's known for his creativity, wit, and ability to connect with audiences across all channels. When he's not crafting marketing campaigns, you can find him hiking in the mountains or reading a good book.


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